Thursday, December 27, 2012

Colored Pencil Project #2

The second lesson of three is a pair of little shoes. I'm presenting a few pictures to show the process.

The big lesson here was to realize how many variations of color can be gain from one pencil by using pressure.

Layering was achieved by using a second color, but trying to apply the same pressure as in the first stage.

This picture and the final are very close. I just wanted you to see the difference in the tiles as the ones on the left have the final layer. Certainly more punch than the ones on the left.

Ta-da, I'm done! OK, the top left tiles are "wrong". Hey, I can have a senior moment:)

Thanks for your informative comments. The next post will show you the last project and a color chart that I created. I learned that I had a lot of pencils, both Prismacolor and Lyra. The companies must love me:)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Learning about Colored Pencils

Lately I've had this inclination to learn more about colored pencil drawing. Buried in my bookshelf was a North Light Workbook on Colored Pencil Techniques by Bernard Poulin. So I decided to see what he had to say. The design was outlined in gray, which meant that one can focus on the color blending.

Naturally, I didn't have all the specific colors that he suggested. Since you can't see his version, you'll just have to assume that all my colors are correct! It's pretty overwhelming to realize how many layers are required to give the rich depth for this piece. YES, I have learned about these pencils.

Think that holiday preparations are under control, the rain is coming and I'm happy to settle in my cozy space to draw and quilt. May you all stay safe and comfortable as Christmas approaches.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Zentangles play

A while back I had taken a watercolor workshop and we did color studies. So, I decided to play with the page and this is the result.

Funny how I can find time to do this during the rush of the season. I must have needed this "time out".

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas cards

Now that I have sent out our Christmas cards, it's OK to post these pictures. I didn't want any of the recipients to get an early glimpse:)This year I chose to do fabric postcards.

A variety of fabrics were purchased as I didn't want to get bored. Yes, I started in August since it's not nice to see me stressed by a close deadline.

Each of the approximately 60 cards was quilted. After the backing was added, I zigzagged the edge. Fabric markers were used for the addressing and a short message. My one concession to the post office was to add 1st class regular envelope postage. So far, they seem to have made it to their destinations!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Soldier's Quilt

Quilts are a part of my life. In June I had purchased fabric for a red white and blue quilt for the Quilt of Honor program. September came and I was finally getting around to making it. I went to my health club and Tim, the most friendly greeter told me the news that his son-in-law has been injured in Afghanistan. His transport vehicle drove over a bomb. I went home and said to myself, this is my quilt, I can give it to whoever I want. So Damian was to receive this quilt.

Damian came home with a leg that still can't fully bend, but he is going to start physical therapy on Monday and I feel that he will heal. He came home to California this week and I was able to present the quilt to him and his family.

Below is a close up of the outer blocks.

I wish that I could honor all soldiers, but I'll work on it one at a time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Improved Mandala!

OK, the little voice said that the mandala which I showed in the previous post was just not right. Now I feel better:)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Moleskin and figure drawing

Seems that I'm doing a lot, but have little to verify that fact! I glanced at my zentangle moleskin that has been sorely neglected. So, I happened to be in the local art store and found some acrylic templates. That is what I used for this circle design. I'm not sure if it is done, but this is its current look.

Figure drawing sessions are every Friday morning and this weeks model was Brooke. There are so many talented artists in this group. Luckily I sit next to a woman who is willing to share her observations. I'm slowly learning how to use pastel pencils.

May all who live on the East coast be safe. Gorgeous weather here in California which seems strange when you see the destruction getting worse each hour on the other side of the country.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A sketch and a collage

A friend has a '56 Chevy so we went to a small gathering of classic car buffs at a local eating spot. I sat in front of this truck that was completely build by the owner. Such a labor of love! There was wood on the sides of the truck bed that had precise cut out letters. Very impressive.

My art quilt group issued a challenge for this month, to create a paper collage that is approximately 8 1/2 by 11". I had so much fun this this project.

There is a new website that I'd love to share. It's Wild Sage Art that Mabel Dean has started. Her work is soooo interesting and creative (which is the key word as you'll discover on her site). Hope that you can take a moment to check out her varied work.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I won't bore you with the house and computer demise problems that we've experienced over the last month. Let's move to a more pleasant subject of art! Figure drawing sessions have again started and this piece really has made me feel that I'm making progress. It's done with pastel pencils.

I dropped in for a watercolor class as I wanted to learn the instructors technique for painting and outline. First she takes a pencil and meanders down the page. Then she ponders and pulls out the image. This is what I produced.

It's a silly piece, but was so much fun to create. I see a future for this technique as it combines watercolor and zentangles.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sketches and Journal

Pen and ink sketching continues to draw my interest. It's funny because I really like color, but there is something magical about seeing a design appear and actually look like as one envisions.

Looking again at Danny Gregory's blog, I find that reminder to draw everyday. So I added the flower to this page as dinner was cooking. Funny how one can find a few minutes to draw despite the "busyness" of the day.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


My art quilt group gave themselves a challenge to create an 18x24 quilt that has lettering. Well, that was pretty easy for me, the one in the group who was a calligrapher. At the moment, I can only present my quilt, but hope to add others later. There was such a terrific variety of work.

I had shown this piece before, but that was before I appliqued it and added embellishments. Again, this was a challenging block.

We each chose our own quote. I was less afraid of lettering on fabric so chattery me, ended up with the longest quote: Art-the expression of a personality in a particular way, through individual creative work, the development of an idea that opens the eyes of others to a different outlook on a subject. Constance Howard

I guess that I do hope that this project has achieved just that!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pen and Ink Techniques continue

Here are a couple more pictures using the Pen and Ink Techniques that I began to study in the previous post. Funny, I now need to buy a new pen---well, maybe I have another that I can use.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pen and Ink Techniques

The library is full of gifts. I came upon a book, Pen and Ink Techniques by Frank Lohan. Looking at the Amazon page, it seems that he has several books on drawing. My copy was published in 1978, so he has been teaching drawing for quite a while.
No surprise, I continue to learn.

Naturally, these were done with a tiny .01 pen. Ahh, the struggle that artists face! But, oh, I have learned so much.

Well, the USA is a hot country this year and it's our turn here in California. The temperatures are to be around 104 for the next several days. Stay cool.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Two more pages

Although I'm been working on a lot of projects, these two zentangle pages are finished (I think). There were a few compass guidelines, but most of this is freehand. That is a new experience for me. It's part of the build confidence in yourself that happens with zentangles.

It occurred to me that these designs do not have to be in a circle of square shape. As a reminder to me, there is no wrong in doing these designs. Well, I don't think that someone is going to zap me:)

May we continue to admire the athletes in the Olympics! How do they accomplish those feats?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zentangle Moleskin 2

Obviously there is something about zentangles that calls to me. I made the pledge (to myself) to do another accordian moleskin. The format will be a mandala followed by a "free motion" design. Yes, it's calming to do, but it also calms the mind and that is good for me. There is an element that helps me to work out of my comfort zone and to learn contrast, color and other arty concepts.

The center circle and the two circles to shape the outer band were done with templates and a compass. All the rest is created freehand. OK, a ruler for the bands on the side.

Each page is an enjoyable lesson. There are so many techniques and designs that can be learned and incorporated. Oh boy, what is next!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sketchcrawl and fabric

Yesterday I joined others at the Sketchcrawl held in Davis, California. This group was organized by Pete Scully. If you check is website you'll see his terrific work. Yes, he counted the rows of bricks in the building. Pete is the one in the black hat.

My very humble drawing was of the building next to the brick structure which housed the coffee shop.

It was funny, I seemed to find myself alone which is not really the intent of a gathering. But it did help me to gain confidence to sit and draw in public. There were many languages spoken and I could tell when the same set of footfalls changed direction. Davis, which is a small town, is the home of the University of California, Davis campus and it seemed that families were checking out the surroundings. Also, there was a soccer tournament with over 100 teams and players and their parents were strolling through the town.

While walking through the town I visited an artists co-op called The Artery. Currently one of the featured artists is Lillian Grant. Her zentangle type work on huge scrolls of a heavy paper inspired me to pull out my new set of fabric markers and try some designs on a white on white fabric. I have no idea where this project will lead me, but I just had to try it out.

So may toys, so little time!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Journal and Postcards

It's over:( The watercolor journal class was held on just two Saturdays and now I must continue on my own. That is always a challenge. Here are two pages that I did which helped me to just sit me down and enjoy the moment.

I have no idea why I'm making fabric postcards, but here are a couple more. Actually, I'm thinking that it would be fun to make them as Christmas greetings. However, would it be fun if I had 75 to do?!

OK, call me crazy. It's near 100 degrees today and we are going golfing. Let's see, I just got a golf umbrella for my birthday, so that should be no problem. Ha!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Watercolor Journal Workshop

Feeling that I needed a boost in the idea of doing an art journal, I signed up for a class with Susan Keale. There are two sessions, each four hours. A lot of the information was for absolute beginners, but I knew that I could learn something and, I did! We did a color wheel that had the inner circles include mixes with yellow ochre, raw sienna and burnt umber. Simple enough, but helpful. Among the books she recommended were Danny Gregory's. I knew that I was in the right class. Our homework was to draw at least 10 minutes each day. Of course, it took much longer for this first painting, but that is just what I wanted, motivation.

I attended my art quilt meeting and one member cleaned our her library and generously let us have our pick of books. As a small thank you for such a kind gesture, I made this fabric postcard. Thanks again, S!!

To the Americans reading this, have a Glorious Fourth of July! The the rest of world, may you also have a nice day!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A True Mixed Bag

This post is truly a mixed bag. I did purchase some paper that is recommended for pastel, as I decided not to wait until September. (Why did I think that I had to wait?) The piece is a 40 minute figure drawing that I did in Friday's class.

Onward to a quilt block. I have wanted to do a kaleidoscope piece for a long time and finally found the courage as I have a art quilt that I'm making. This idea comes from Paula Nadelstern's fantastic pieces which are highlighted in two books that I have by her: Kaleidoscope Quilts and Kaleidoscope Quilts The Workbook. While reading her text, she is generous about not perfect seams, they may come with practice. After I finished this piece, I realized that it's to big for the specific project that I'm working on. Yes, it will be used in another quilt.

Last is a real off the wall piece. One day when we were golfing with our friends, I picked up a broken tee and said that there must be an art piece waiting to happen. We have a larger piece in mind, but I had to see how it would work. I first painted the 6x6" canvas with acrylic paint (several layers, of course) and then glued the tees. When I was finished I coated the tees with a medium gloss as an extra coat of glue. This piece was finished inside my cool house, as it was 105 degrees yesterday.

Oh gee! there are so many more projects to try!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Figure drawing

There are only two more weeks of figure drawing before we break for the summer. I will miss the sessions on Friday mornings.
Again, I tend to use pastel pencils and next year I am treating myself to better paper.

After a weekend with winds up to 25 mph, all is quiet and temperatures will be in the 90's this week. Maybe I'll find something "cool" to draw.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Working at the polls

There are no pictures for this post. I'm just sharing my experience of working at the polls in California for the first time in my life. What an eye opener! In preparation, my husband and I, had to either take a 2 1/2 hour class or take instruction via the computer and then take a one hour class. The big day arrived and we got up around 4:30 a.m. in order to arrive at 6 a.m. for our shift that was to last until 10 p.m. There is a stipend for this 17 hour day which works out to $7.35 an hour. Not sure where I'll spend the money. There were 5 of us and we learned that the other three had done most of the set up. That was nice. There are special colored coded keys and an exact process to turning on the machines.

We each had an assigned position: find the registered voter on the list and have them sign, cross off their name from the street registry, hand out the ballots, trouble shoot and help people place the ballot in the scanner. Well, I chose the easy job of crossing off the street addresses and I was sure glad. First, even though it is posted on their sample ballots, people went to the wrong polling places and they weren't happy. A few were not registered. Some had Vote By Mail by their name and claimed to have never received their ballot. We somehow settled these problems. Oh, by the way, our California ballots are now published in three languages, English, Spanish and Chinese. After seeing my station, people went to my husband who was giving out the ballot that was printed on two pages. Since it's a primary, each party had their own ballot: Republican, Democrat, American Independent, Non Partisan, Green, Peace and Freedom, and Democrat non partisan. I hope that I have them all listed! The forms filled two long tables, plus a short table. Once the correct ballots were found, they were placed in a secrecy folder and handed to the voter.

Almost everyone handled the voting easily. But, some miss marked the ballot and had to have a replacement. All ballots, good or bad, had to be tracked. Once the voters selection was made, they proceeded to the electronic scanner and, with instruction, were told to place each of the two pages into the machine with the clipped corner on the right. Of course, many had the pages flipped or upside down. The machine would beep if things were not right. But, in the end, the count was accurate and all was well. Another aspect was that you can now vote by mail. I have no idea how many sent their ballots in, but 53% of the voters are registered to do that. IF you did not send it in, you could drop the sealed envelope in a ballot box. The polls closed at eight. All the voting booths which included a special electronic booth for the disabled, had to be broken down and placed in containers. All the ballots had to be sorted by "A" or "B" and counted. Oh glory, the number was right. There were plastic sleeves for the various small equipment and forms to be filled out.

We finished by 10 p.m. and were quite pleased by that time span. The chief Inspector and her husband carried the ballots to a central office. One person had to literally hold the ballots on their lap to guard them. We do care about your vote.

I only post this story so that you will thank all the workers who make the privilege of voting a reality. Many have done it for years, this was only once for us. So, the polling places are set up--let these efforts not be wasted, please vote in the next election!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pastel Pencil Portrait

After a busy schedule, I was able to relax and challenge myself to drawing portraits from photos found in a magazine. Golly, I was pleased with this pastel pencil piece. I finally feel that I'm beginning to grasp the study of the figure (a lifelong project!).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mandala Collage and Zentangle

This 12 x 12" canvas was painted with another project in mind. But, the idea of a mandala seemed stronger, so that is the direction of this piece. The paint is actually blue, but with a red undercoat and at least two layers of blue, it appears black. With a compass that held a colored pencil I drew the outline. Fabric and laundry color sheets were the choices for the the inner pieces. Then I went to paint the purple and the blue base "ate it up"! The color was so absorbed that I gave up that idea. So, the purple is hand dyed fabric that I glued. The acrylic yellow was the wrong shade and boring, so I found in my stash, a shiny yellow that reflected the purple. Well, the original outside shape was half circles. It just didn't work. So, after several tries, I send up with the pointed shape that was cut from fabric. Back to the center where I had some yellow. That was then covered with tiny gold almost sand like beads. A few dots of yellow puff paint and a crystal in the center. I THINK that I'm done. My goodness, I'm sure wordy about this piece.
Zentangles is another type of art that I enjoy creating. Margaret Bremmer, at Enthuiastic Artist, has a terrific site that includes mandalas and zentanges. She is so talented and inspires me to do better as I play with my art. There is a peace that surrounds you as you enter that state of being absorbed in your art. May you all experience that contentment.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Life a bit more settled

I've been able to "lurk" at the terrific work by the folks in the EveryDay Matters group. Such inspirational pieces. I was waylaid by a case of vertigo and now the world has stopped spinning. I missed my regular figure drawing session, but went to an very relaxed gathering where Andrew posed while playing a game on his i-pad.
I felt good enough to go golfing yesterday and along the edge of the golf course was this peacock who was keeping an eye on his lady. The glory of the peacock blue color was breathtaking.
Another project has been a thank you to the clubhouse where we hold our art quilt meetings. We invited children from the community to come and help create a quilt. They did an outstanding job! I brought it home to quilt and it will be auctioned to support the community projects.
Since my head is no longer spinning, I can get back to thinking and creating. There is a list of projects that I want to tackle!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Zentangles and flowers

Sometimes you just let your thoughts wander and create meaningless pieces. There is no real reason for the flowers and zentangles. But, it's not a complete loss--I did learn more about using Inktense pencils and I settled a bit more after traveling.